Sheriff shortage ships Kamloops guards to Victoria

By James Peters
March 15, 2017 - 12:00pm

KAMLOOPS — The head of the union representing sheriffs in BC says deputy sheriffs are being transported from Kamloops to Victoria to help cover a shortage there.

BCGEU section chair Dean Purdy says there is a shortage province-wide, but it appears the shortage has hit home in the capital region.

Purdy says the economics of sheriffs being flown around the province don't make sense.

"They've put out a request from the Lower Mainland to go to Victoria, from Kamloops, from Prince George. You're talking about flights, hotels, per diems, some overtime. It just doesn't make sense economically from our standpoint. We are willing to sit down with government to try and come up with a solution to this, but so far we haven't heard back," said Purdy.

Purdy adds the government should address the reason for the sheriff shortage, which is the wage gap between sheriffs and similar professions.

He notes a deputy sheriff could make $30,000 more as a police officer.

"You have the Transit Police on the Lower Mainland making $90,000, Vancouver [Police] is $95,000, the RCMP and municipal police are in the eighties. We're not saying Sheriffs need to be paid the same, but they need to close that gap."

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